Friday, August 30, 2013

Back to School Preparations

Wow, what a crazy, busy week it has been.  I worked a full five days and there is still more to do. 
I got to meet my new third graders today during our Back to School morning. Students came to see the classroom and drop off supplies.  One of my teammates shared this idea for a Back to School Treat bag. I am offering the tag free on TPT.  
Head here to get your download:
 I set up a "Wonder Wall" for students and parents to post questions about this new grade level. I also like to use a wonder wall whenever I begin a new unit.  I simply change out the topic.  This gives me a chance to gauge students' prior knowledge and gives them a focus as we search for answers to their questions.  My new third graders have lots of questions about recess and lunch.  One sweet child wonders if she will be nervous on the first day.  We can learn a lot about our students when we give them a chance to question before learning!
 I also ran my first estimation station.  Parents and students estimated how many starbursts were in the jar. This is also an ongoing routine in my classroom. I try to change out  this station weekly to give students practice in estimating with many different units. We estimate weight, length, time, temperature, etc., etc.  It is a great way to connect math with other areas of the curriculum too.
Although I am exhausted by the work it takes getting ready for a brand new school year, I am super excited about the possibilities and the chance to get to work with these children this year. Thank goodness we have a long weekend to recharge and reenergize for our first week with students. 
So how about you?  Would love to hear about your plans for the new year.